Augusta to vote March 6 on Sunday alcohol sales

Vote coincides with presidential primary

  • Follow Elections

Richmond County residents will vote not only for their presidential preference in the primary election March 6, but also on the question of Sunday alcohol sales.

A new state law gives local governments the authority to allow voters to decide whether retail stores may sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays from 12:30-11:30 p.m.

Like many other communities in Georgia, Richmond County passed on the first opportunity to pose the question to voters – Nov. 8 – to save money.

Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said because Augusta didn’t have anything on the November ballot, it would have cost $80,000 to $90,000 to hold an election for the single issue of Sunday alcohol sales.

“It doesn’t cost a dime if we do it in March,” Bailey said.

The March 6 election is the Pres­idential Preference Primary.

The Democratic ballot will list President Obama.

On Wednesday, Bailey received the list for the Republican ballot: Michele Bach­mann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary John­son, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Bud­dy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick San­torum.

 Bailey said voters will have a choice of three ballots _ Democrat, Republican or nonpartisan. The nonpartisan ballot will only contain two questions, while the Democrat and Republican ballots will have the two questions and a choice of presidential candidates.

In addition to selecting presidential preference, voters will weigh in on Sunday alcohol sales and the continuation of a special sales tax for the Richmond County Board of Education.

The school board seeks to extend the sales tax to raise up to $225 million from 2013 through 2017. The money is to be used to build facilities; renovate, repair and demolish existing buildings; and purchase textbooks, technology equipment and school buses.

If approved, the sales tax would fund $20 million to replace classroom wings and make other improvements at George P. Butler High School, $15 mil­lion to replace wood buildings at 50-year-old Murphey Middle School, and $12 million for Glenn Hills High School to renovate the baseball field, build a gym and create Junior ROTC wings. Lucy C. Laney High School would get $20 million to replace classroom wings, build a cafeteria and renovate the gym, among other projects.

Friday is the last day to add items to the March 6 ballot.

Anyone who wishes to register to vote must do so by Feb. 6 to participate in the March election. Any resident who is a U.S. citizen and 18 years of age or older may register. Any resident who has been convicted of a felony crime may register to vote or re-register to vote when the sentence imposed is completed.


Voters in dozens of cities and towns across Georgia have struck down long-standing rules against Sunday alcohol sales, leaving just two other states in the nation with similar bans intact.

Results tallied by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Georgia voters backing the change in many of the nearly 100 communities statewide where it was on the ballot.

Nationally, only Indiana and Connecticut now prohibit Sunday package alcohol sales statewide.

– Associated Press

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Taylor B
Taylor B 11/30/11 - 06:18 pm
Sigh... time to fire up the

Sigh... time to fire up the troops again!

Augusta resident
Augusta resident 12/01/11 - 01:00 am
How are we going to pay for

How are we going to pay for the loss of Sunday sale licenses. They are expensive. More ammo for "Fred vote yes for the next SPLOST or I'll be forced to raise property taxes and do it anyway Russell". Oh well at least it'll mean less crowded restaurants full of drunks that will eventually have to drive home. When people forget to stock up Saturday they end up bar hopping on Sunday.

soldout 12/01/11 - 05:29 am
How we vote is a part of our

How we vote is a part of our sowing and reaping so vote with care. It is like the people who vote for "pro-death" leaders and then wonder why their life is a struggle.

nanowerx 12/01/11 - 08:12 am
About time. Glad the bible

About time. Glad the bible belt is finally loosening it's grip. If something is should be legal everyday, picking special days where it is all of a sudden illegal unless you go to a restaurant is just really crappy politics.

dms10102011 12/01/11 - 08:45 am
Separation of Church and

Separation of Church and State !!!!

What does Sunday have to do with the sale of anything?

I think the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on this one. Any state law that recognizes a "religious day" and bans a sale of a product on that specific day - IS A VIOLATION OF THE SUPREME COURT RULING !!

The existing law just needs to be challenged in federal court, and it will be overturned. Then you can sale anything on Sunday that can be sold Monday through Saturday.

Brad Owens
Brad Owens 12/01/11 - 10:56 am
$225,000,000.00 for a failing

$225,000,000.00 for a failing school board? I see tens of millions for sports stuff, not so much on computers and text books.

I will be voting no on that one unless I can be convinced that the RCBOE deserves any more money at all.

Reward failure and subsidize incompetence, we really know how to do things in RC don’t we?


Little Lamb
Little Lamb 12/01/11 - 11:04 am
I encourage all Richmond

I encourage all Richmond County voters to vote NO on extending the RCBOE SPLOST.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs